Watchdog threatens fuel firms with ceiling

Watchdog threatens fuel firms with ceiling

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Watchdog threatens fuel firms with ceiling

Turkish energy watchdog EPDK has slammed fuel prices, urging the companies to introduce cuts until tomorrow and threatening to introduce a ceiling.

Turkey’s energy watchdog has reportedly threatened fuel companies with a price ceiling if they do not cut diesel prices by 4 kuruş by June 26.

The Energy Market Regulation Board (EPDK) Chairman Mustafa Yılmaz asked fuel distributors to slash market prices of gasoline and diesel fuel during a meeting with company representatives June 24.

Stepping up efforts to control the soaring prices in the market, the EPDK had imposed a two-month ceiling on prices between March 21 and May 21.

After lifting the ceiling, the prices slightly rose due to rising crude oil prices and a weakening Turkish Lira.

Most recently, on June 19, fuel distributors introduced 10 and 12 kuruş hikes to gasoline and diesel oil prices in Turkey, after an excessive rise in crude prices due to tensions in Iraq.

Following the gasoline prices’ recent surge to above 5.12 liras, Yılmaz told companies not to reflect rising distribution costs on to customers at the meeting on June 24, warning the watchdog may otherwise resort to bringing the price ceiling practice back.

Turkey is one of the countries with the highest fuel prices. In a report released in March, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said lofty tax burdens have caused the price of gasoline to skyrocket over 210 percent during the 11-year Justice and Development (AKP) rule.

Fuel companies blame high taxes for the high prices, complaining they suffer from low profitability levels.

However, defying the companies’ outcry, the EPDK chairman yesterday said the high prices paid for vendor transfers damage the market, accusing the distributors of charging high transfer costs to consumers.

Underlining the fuel sector needs to transform into a sustainable structure, Yılmaz said the EPDK is “continuing to monitor and control the sector scrupulously.”